Systems Thinking for Undergraduates

Sytems thinking is a new paradigm shift in approach to tackle problems. I have earlier written a post introducing application of systems approach to medicine here. I once mailed Leroy Hood, my favourite scientist and the best systems biologist, on how should I prepare myself for systems medicine during my undergraduate years. Surprisingly, he replied within a day. This is what he advised,

Sachin–I believe that the best training for systems medicine (and P4 medicine) is to obtain a good cross-disciplinary background.  I would, for example, focus on biology and one other orthogonal discipline such as computer science or applied physics.  I would be certain to have a good back ground in math, physics and chemistry.  I would certainly learn statistics.  You need to be familiar in a general way with bioinformatics and its powerful tools.  I am certain this sounds challenging–and it is.  But it place you in a unique position to attack the big problems of systems science.

I will send you a couple of papers you may find interesting.

Best of luck,


I would like to share one of the papers he sent me. Read it and you would appreciate that innovations in technology drive major changes in biology more often than realization of concepts does.
Here is a video in which Nitin Baliga, Institute of Systems Biology briefs on how systems biology will impact life in the next 20 years.

2 thoughts on “Systems Thinking for Undergraduates

  1. Nice reading about you Sachin

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

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